The Nurse comes out of the room, wiping sweats away from her brows, grabbing a seat to sit down, she scans the hallway, people littered it, the sick lying on the floor when they couldn’t get beds or stretchers, the well, who were either parents , wards or friends held onto them for comfort or fear of losing them if they left .
Nurses ran back and forth, doctors were constantly on call into the theatres and back out, their looks groom..
“Nurse..Nurse, how is he? how is my son?”
“How is my daughter? ”
“What is going on Doctor , why isn’t anyone talking to me?”
“My son..he ..he isn’t breathing? ”
“She is getting worse, my mother is getting worse!!”
“help me..please Help me!””
“She is jerking, her body is hot, someone please save my daughter. ..”
“Save us all!!!” they wailed.
A woman grabs unto her , “Help me..help me!!” her now weak and feeble hands felt like a paperweight ..
“we are doing all that we can.. please just be patient. we would attend to all of you..we will” The nurse says leaving the hall and walking away, back into the room she had come out from.
“How is it out there? ” the doctor turns seeing her walk in
“Not good. we are short of staffs, medicines and beds, it’s crazy out there. .. like an Epidemic just broke loose infecting the locals”
“well, it was an Epidemic .”
“What kind of Epidemic”
“Influenza . it started out like a normal flu. the first case was reported about a months ago, it was a little girl who came down with a cough, then Fever and extreme coldness which resulted in her having chills, her mother says even when she is hot she is shivering, really shaking with rigor.Nasal congestion, having difficulty breathing., and yet having running nose, Vomiting even when she had little to no food in her stomach, she sneezes constantly, and then she complained about her body aching her, especially her joints if she is being hugged and throat if she takes water. which leads to her being Fatigued, and not eating solid food for days gives her headache, Irritated and watering eyes , sometimes reddened eyes , especially her face, mouth, throat and nose, then the rash…and it kept getting worse. ”
“Was she checked in the hospital??”
He shakes his head. “No. they thought they could manage it at home, they were poor, broke, hardly money to go by , so they could not afford the hospital, hell they couldnt afford drugs”
“So what happened? what happened to the girl?”
“”She died three days later”
“Now that isn’t what is worse., Her sister caught it a day later after she died. same symptoms, more aggressive than the first”
“So it is contagious “??
“No ..Not that we could tell. When they brought the two girls into the hospital and we checked the bodies..and”
“Wait! her sister died too?”
“Her whole family is dead ”
“Yes,.. No one had been into the house for weeks. they were decayed and smelling. Someone had bought the land they were in, the family had built a small wooden house and had been living there for a year. So the contractors had gone to check on the shed built on the land and found them. ..Dead.
And he didn’t touch them .he said he was tying a bandana because of the dust and he was wearing gloves. he called the cops immediately ”
“Okay so he didn’t touch them and his nose was covered..it wasn’t airborne and he didn’t contact it by touching it. So ?”
“One of the paramedics that got to the scene. He said the mother was still breathing when they brought her in, and they tried to keep her alife.. That was when she bite him”
“I don’t understand ”
“She was struggling to breath , fighting for air and he was trying to help, but it seemed as though her nose was blocked and the only other way was to puncture a hole close to her neck and put in the tube, which was what he was trying to do, but maybe she felt threatened, in that state she didn’t know what was going on with her, maybe she had lost it, her family members were all dead and who knows what had happened during those few hours watching her family die one by one. … so..while struggling, she bite him..then she dies almost immediately ”
“Okay, where the bodies checked, ?”
“Yes. That’s how it was diagnosed that they had Influenza, Type D. the worst stage, they were good as dead. but what we don’t understand is that, how is it that they got it and then instead of it progressing from A as do other sicknesses , it shoots up to Type D stage, where there was really no saving them. But after then, no other case was reported . ”
“What happened to the paramedic?”
“No one knows. he didn’t show to work after two days, he was supposed to be going out of town , they said something about a new job, but he hadn’t even dropped his resignation letter. he just never showed and attempts to reach him failed. And now, a few days later, We have the hospital doors bursting in with patients and all of then having thesame symptoms ”
The nurse shakes her head.
“What do we do?”
“We have given orders to everyone to administer Antivirals. The two classes of antiviral drugs which are used against influenza , Neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir and zanamivir) which is to be been given to them otherwise healthy patients who haven’t yet contacted the disease and then M2 protein inhibitors (adamantane derivatives) to those who have. but the problem is that for those who have, M2 is for Type B .., it helps to inhibit it, so that for those ones who get healed, the sickness doesn’t return and replicate itself in their system.
We have never had a type C before talk less of a type D. we don’t have a cure for it and by the time we get around to mixing compounds and looking for cures, weeks and months would have gone past, people are dying.”
“So what are you saying doctor??”
“I am saying that, we just have to pray that it works..the M2. , we have managed to inject each and every one of them, all the doctors are going round doing so as we speak. now we are all out. Last drop given to them. Here, take yours. ” He hands her an Antiviral drug.
“We still aren’t sure how it is being contacted , just to be on a safe side, always wear your mask, wear gloves and avoid touching the patient with bare skin, and don’t allow them scratch or bite you. We have sent word out , More Antiviral drugs would be coming in , maybe in the next couple of hours before they start making plans to work on Antivirals for Type D. ” the nurse injects herself , closing her eyes briefly as she pulls the pin out ..
“So what now? ?”
“Let me go check on the patients. .”
“We have to to put them to sleep too”
“because. ..we want to keep them calm, one patient had begun exhibiting aggressive tendencies, screaming and scatching. she has been restrained. .and the doctor who was with her isolated. she was injured with her nails. we don’t want to take any chances. we can’t be able to restrain all the patients, we are not enough,you said so yourself, so putting them to sleep is the best. For the doctor , we have to watch her to see if she gets any symptoms within the hour ”
“So we keep isolating doctors?we are already short of staffs”
“we also need to be protected. if we aren’t how do we safe them??”
she sighs.. “Okay doctor”
Leaving the room she goes out, seeing that all the doctors and nurses were with patients, injecting syringes into their arms, fully protecting their themselves from head to toe ..with their white cloths, with the overall , mask and caps with gloves .
She watches how the ones affected slowly calms down , then one by one they fall to sleep..
Soon the hospital hall was quiet, the ones who looked healthy, parents, wards and friends sat quietly beside them…
“Are they going to be okay? are our families going to be okay? ?” one woman calls out, staring as her mother had fallen asleep, her shaking had stopped, her red eyes had been closed and her hands grew limb inside hers
“For now, for now . Help is coming. ”
The doctor coming out of the room says, as he walks around checking on the ones affected.
Satisfied , he comes back to her , taking a seat beside her..
“it’s going to be a long night”
“When do they arrive? ”
“The drugs? in another couple of hours , ”
she sighs, turning to see how the nurses and doctors were as exhausted as they were..
Good thing they were trying to manage it in here and no other person had burst through the door carrying a child or a parent or a friend or sibling with the same symptom. They all came from thesame district, a locale just behind the hospital . it was a small village, and they all fitted into the only big hospital in the area.
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Feeling dehydrated she gets up..
“Where are you going to?” he turns to her
“I need to pour water on my face , feeling really hot then I need water, feel like I have been in a desert for days, you want a bottle? ”
She leaves the hall, walking down to the staffs toilet, closing the door behind her she puts on the tap, bends over the sink to wash her face and her neck..doing it a couple of times , straightening up she reaches for the towel with closed eyes hanging on the wall, and wipes her face. Done she turns and screams…
there was a nurse standing there..backing her, at the other side of the door,
Sighing in relief , she removes her hands from clutching her chest. .
“You scared me” she says, hanging the towel back , she made to leave, but the nurse didn’t turn.., it felt as though she was doing something , her shoulders were going up and down, as though she was crying..
“Are you okay??” The nurse goes closer to the other nurse,raising her hand ..”What is wrong , are you okay??” as soon as her hands touches the other nurse’s shoulders she turns ,
she was crying “Hey hey what is wrong ??”
“everything is..look at those kids , the people, sick and there is nothing I can do to help them..its so frustrating and ..and..” she burst out in more tears, leaning into her, the other nurse hugs her, The nurse who is shocked at her display of emotions tries to calm her down, suddenly she pushes her away,
“I am sorry I am sorry..I didn’t mean to” the other nurse says
The first Nurse frowns touching her neck. .
“Ssshh it’s okay, it’s okay. Help is coming on the way…doctors are working around the clock. we just have to keep every one infected calm and sedated till the next batch of Drugs comes in, have you taken your Antiviral? ?” she rubs her neck where the other nurse’s mouth had just been.
the other nurse pulls further away from her cleaning her eyes…suddenly scratching her hands.. she shakes her head.. “Antiviral? no ..no.. I have been here the whole time after..after..”
“After what Nurse..”
“That man, the one I was attending to.. he…he died”
the nurse blinks.. “Someone already died in the hospital..tonight from this disease?”
“Yes..two already.. they were acting really really strange, screaming and scratching and their bodies were burning hot. ”
” The Fever?”
“Yes, but..they were struggling to be let loose, eyes turning red, everything happening all at worse. I tried to restrain them, the doctor had just stepped out and it was just me, soon one attacked the other , and they began to claw and fight with each other , making horrible sounds .. pulling at each other and…No matter how much I tried to restrain them I couldn’t. .I had to..I had to try and inject them with sleeping drugs.. Jabbing them into their backs..and soon..soon they fell asleep.”
“Then it’s okay, they would be knocked out for a bit. lets go tell the doctor , so we can check on them. ..” the nurse grabs her hands but she suddenly drops it as though she had been stung
“As I was about to leave, I thought they were knocked out, but I was wrong, as I tried to tighten the straps of one that was loosen, and then..he struggles , trying to get up and as I held him down, surpised that the injection didn’t knock him out, he bites me. then he began to jerk..jerk..and then, he stops. he was dead.”
The nurse follows her hand movements to see that the nurse had been scratching her hand, then she looks back up her face, she suddenly noticed that her eyes were really red and the itching became worse…
“I haven’t been able to stop it..I haven’t been able to stop this..this pain, in my head, my nose I can’t breath and..I can’t ” she began to cough,the other nurse, then as she spat out, blood follows …
The nurse steps back..she needed to get out of here and get M2 for this nurse
“we are all out” she remembers the doctor saying that.
If she couldn’t inject the nurse and put her to sleep, she might go and infect the other almost healthy people in the hospital, including her.
she notice the consistent scratching as the other nurse kept rubbing her arm… The bite mark were on her hand.
the doctor had said that the mother of the dead girls had biten the paramedics, the only sort of contact with the diseased victims..
what if..what if that was how it was being transfered ad contacted…
“Okay, calm down, I would just go get water for you okay and drugs..I will be back” she steps away from her, nearing the door. .
“I can’t. .I can’t ” she began to jerk and jerk..
The nurse opens the toilet door and leaves it, running into the hall to get the doctor…
but what she sees in a trail of blood ..
To be continue